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Old 08-04-2020, 06:00 PM
bill.hutchison bill.hutchison is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 133
Default Outdoor Storage

I know, I know. Hangars are preferred, I get it.

Hangars are also hard to come by where I live. I'm closest to VKX and 2W5 - on the waiting list for a hangar at 2W5 but I'm pretty far down and there's a good chance I might acquire an airplane before then. VKX hangars go up for bid from time to time and ye Gods, they go for princely sums...

Anyway. This is more about outdoor storage....

I know companies like Bruce's make custom full covers for the airplane, and while I know a hangar is most any of you store your airplanes outdoors on tiedowns? Besides covers, do you do anything else to preserve/protect the airplane?

Getting closer to full-bore shopping mode and want to understand what I might be able to do, given that my storage options will be more limited.

(EDIT - I may consider storage at HEF or JYO but those are pretty far down the desired list. I'm also part of a club at GAI and I really, really don't want to keep a plane there.)
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:03 PM
Pilot135pd's Avatar
Pilot135pd Pilot135pd is online now
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Vaca Moo Airport - TA37 in East TEXAS
Posts: 1,382

Aside from researching how to protect it outside, which is a good thing to do, another option to think about is hangar sharing with a high wing plane. The RVs are pretty small compared with Standard category planes and if you can find a 172, 182, or a tall twin, your plane will fit underneath it.
Sadly sold my RV-8 N52VM however I'm still trying to enjoy life by creating an airport with FREE campsites for pilots to come visit WHILE WAITING FOR THE HIGH WING RV15 !

Exempt by 3 out of the 10 ways but I still donated.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:27 PM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is online now
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,813

Originally Posted by Pilot135pd View Post
Aside from researching how to protect it outside, which is a good thing to do, another option to think about is hangar sharing with a high wing plane. The RVs are pretty small compared with Standard category planes and if you can find a 172, 182, or a tall twin, your plane will fit underneath it.
I did this at JYO years ago - but there was a lot of noise that sharing a hangar violated the rules (as in if you want a hangar, rent one from the FBO). At the time the hangar wait list was several years - I left as I built a home and hangar at VA42. Perhaps JYO (and other FBOs) have evolved in their thinking.

As option, I think KRMN and KEZF have hangars.

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Old 08-04-2020, 07:10 PM
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Foghorn Foghorn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 176

+1 for KEZF. It also has a very nice restaurant and museum.
Jeff Parker
RV8 Fastback - Building (N767TS)
C195 - Flying (N4469C)
2020 dues paid
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:03 AM
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KRviator KRviator is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sydney, Aust.
Posts: 822

I had to store my -9 outside for 3 months while waiting on a hangar. I invested in a full set of hail-resistant Bruces' covers, including the prop cover. Exxy, but I slept a lot better until I got a hangar spot.

The only other thing I did do was to get one of those cheap 12V solar battery chargers and leave it on the wing plugged in.
Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return - Leonardo DaVinci

My Flickr gallery:

RV-9A - Finished on 10th February 2016 after 4 years, 9 months and 19 days! The 1020th RV-9 flying.

First flight 26th March 2016. Essential specs 145KTAS @ 2400RPM, 8000', 24.2LPH, Initial RoC 1800FPM.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:18 AM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 250
Arrow Talk to guys that do it

That thread above about keeping a plane outside is about an RV-8 thatís been outside for 10 months. Seth flies it often. Ask him by sending him a PM how things are holding up.

Launching from SC45
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:21 AM
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flion flion is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 2,672

There's a few RVs in the shades at KFLG. Mine's been in a hangar while I did the panel change but it'll go back under a shade soon. It snows here in winter, which is a pain whether you are in a shade or a hangar. Really, a hangar is more comfortable for me; doesn't seem to affect the aircraft that much. Mine is unpainted but I've been observing the painted ones here, as well. I think they have less trouble because I ended up having to take steps to protect the unpainted fiberglass on my RV. Hangars provide no protection against birds or dust (you should have seen my wings after two years sitting in a hangar unflown), which seems to find their way in no matter what. Few hangars are climate controlled. Frankly, I like a hangar as a workshop but prefer a share otherwise.
Patrick Kelley - Flagstaff, AZ
RV-6A N156PK - Flying too much to paint
RV-10 14MX(reserved) - Fuselage on gear
EAA Technical Counselor #5357
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:26 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 5,768

My 6A was outside for almost 9 months, between Phase I and waiting on the hanger list. I have been afraid of liability issues, so have decided to give it to my son now that the 10 is flying and using the hanger. It will sit outside for several years, as he can't afford a hanger in Denver.

Getting a good quality and fitting cover is important. You need something like Sunbrella material that is strong and allows for moisture release. I am sure the heavier Bruce covers use Sunbrella or similar material; I made my own and it is very snug with no movement, even in a stiff breeze. You will also want to work on strategically placed silicone to minimize water intrusion. You will also need to ensure that you have adequate drain holes in the belly to release water that gets in. Tail draggers are better in this regard, as gravity will bring all of the water out the tail. Also, don't ever remove the tail tie down ring in an A model. A decent amount of snow or freezing rain will make the tail drop.

PM me if you want more details. We have an RV-4 on our field that has been outside for years. While the idea upsets many people, it is not a death sentence for your plane, IMO. RV's are built with metal similar or identical to the certified fleet and many of these planes are flying, corrosion-free after 50 years on the ramp. Buying a plane that has primer applied on the interior of the fuselage would be a plus in this case. A quick build fuse kit from Van's has such a primer applied at the factory.

Leaving the plane outside for several years will repel many potential buyers, however. Therefore, do not buy a premium plane at a premium price. You will likely lose value if you sell it. There are many planes out there in less than perfect cosmetic condition at budget prices. They are what I would be looking at if I intended long term outside storage.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 08-05-2020 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:00 PM
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BrianDC BrianDC is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 279

Options around here are pretty slim. The ebay/bidding at VXK just makes me cringe but the waiting lists elsewhere are extremely long. Sorry I don't have much advice for storing outdoors. It's harsh and not something I really want to do with my RV. Granted always a chance you can get a place if you play the bid game with Dave at VKX.

HEF, JYO, or going further outside the SFRA are options, granted very difficult options as the drive will suck
Brian Lester
Dues Paid - 2020
RV10 Slow Build - #41778
Finish Kit - in progress
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:16 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,461

Going back to the original post, the question about storing outdoors....he already knows it is not ideal, but hey - if its the only way to own a plane, it is better than nothing! The all-time champion in this regard has to be Vlad - he regularly posted pictures of his 9A sitting outside in the northeast in all weather conditions - snow, sleet, gloom of night....and he’s logged like 6,000 hours with the plane all over the country (and overseas). So no one can say that it doesn’t work - you just have to accept the limitations on ease of maintenance and the like.

I always figured he did it because that is the way they did it in the Russian Air Force - “who needs hangar? Or runway even?!”

Go for the best canopy cover you can if you do it...

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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